The State of Wisconsin Group Insurance Board met today and voted to increase out-of-pocket health care expenses for state employees, including University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty. The changes go into effect January 1, 2016, and will net the state approximately $85 million over two years.
Governor Scott Walker proposed the changes as part of the 2015-17 biennial budget, which required the Department of Employee Trust Funds to identify and implement $81 million in savings from January 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. The changes should also eliminate the so-called Cadillac Tax on employers who offer high-cost plans to their workers, set to go into effect in 2018.
Much of the savings will be realized through new deductibles and doubled out-of-pocket expenses for workers. Employees with single coverage will pay a $250 deductible and a maximum out-of-pocket expense of $1,000 annually, while employees on the family plan will pay a $500 deductible and out-of-pocket maximum of $2,000 annually. Essentially this is a pay cut of as much as $750 to $1,500 annually depending on the health insurance benefit plan an employee chooses.
Edited at 8:10 pm with correct figures for essential pay cut.
The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee will meet today and Thursday in Room 412 East in the State Capitol. Livestream coverage is available on WisconsinEye. Links to Legislative Fiscal Bureau budget papers are here.
Joint Finance Committee Co-chairs Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette) announced Monday the committee would postpone action on the Department of Transportation and instead take up Medical Assistance Thursday. Action on the University of Wisconsin System is expected sometime next week.
PROFS continues to meet with legislative leaders, including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), to explain why the current budget proposal is bad for the university, bad for students, and bad for the Wisconsin economy.
Executive action will be taken on the following topics this week:
- Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority
- Medical College of Wisconsin
- Budget Management and Compensation Reserves
- Department of Employee Trust Funds
- Drug Screening and Testing
- Department of Corrections
- Department of Public Instruction
- Government Accountability Board
- Department of Financial Institutions and Professional Standards
- Department of Financial Institutions
- Department of Safety and Professional Services
- Forward Wisconsin Development Authority/Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)
- Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
- Department of Health Services, including Medical Assistance
The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee will meet Tuesday and Thursday this week in Room 412 East in the State Capitol. Livestream coverage is available on WisconsinEye.
Executive action will be taken on the following topics:
- Higher Educational Aids Board
- Educational Communications Board
- Office of State Employment Relations
- Department of Health Services — Institutions and Mental Health
- Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
- Environmental Improvement Fund
- Department of Administration — Hearings and Appeals
- Department of Administration — Information Technology
- Investment Board
- Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board
- Department of Children and Families — Departmentwide
- Department of Children and Families — Children and Families
- Department of Children and Families — Economic Support and Child Care
- Department of Children and Families — Child Support
- Shared Revenue and Tax Relief — Direct Aid Payments
- Shared Revenue and Tax Relief — Property Taxation
- Shared Revenue and Tax Relief — Property Tax Credits
- Shared Revenue and Tax Relief — Local Revenue Options
Legislative leaders said recently they do not expect to consider motions relating to the University of Wisconsin System until the last week of May. PROFS continues to meet with legislators to advocate for the best possible budget for UW-Madison and its faculty.